Exhibitions: current { past { future




Krista Clark: Pause of Construction

December 9 to December 22, 2017

Recent MFA graduate (GSU) Krista Clark will create an installation of cut paper and drawings for her first solo exhibition at Poem 88. Inspired by Dada and the Constructivists, Clark's wall drawings and installations bring to mind Kurt Schwitters and his Merzbau. Using readily available materials, Clark's work emphasizes the democratic nature of both creating and viewing such works.

She says about her own work:

I use the visual language of architecture and the literal physicality of building materials to create collaged drawings and site-specific installations. I am interested in transitional spaces, the homogenization of place in addition to pushing and playing with the boundaries of drawing, sculpture and installation. I use formal gestures of erasing, overlapping, layering, stacking and cutting and saddle them with the task of depicting our compromised narratives within our built environments. Within this search I am looking at the shiftiness between things: interior/exterior, place/space, flatness/depth, and the unavoidable ego/id.





Phillip March Jones: Pictures Take You Places

October 28 to December 2, 2017

Since June 10, 2011, Phillip March Jones has been engaged in a daily photographic practice uploading his wry and sometimes romantic images to all variety of social media including Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram. For his first solo exhibition at Poem 88, Jones will create an immersive environment featuring 2,200 images and counting.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Jones is the founder of Institute 193 and currently the director of Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York City. Jones's artist book, Pictures Take You Places, comprising 52 color postcards, was the first publication of Poem 88 EDITIONS.



In Kyoung Chun, “Visit 5,” watercolor on paper, 40” x 60”, 2017


In Kyoung Chun: Come to My House

Sept 9 to Oct 21, 2017

In her third solo exhibition at Poem 88, In Kyoung Chun delves ever deeper into the realm of the ideal home and the tension between imaginary space and real space. Through the repeated house image, Chun offers a warm welcome to the viewer and an invitation to participate in the imaginary, too.

Chun, born in Seoul, Korea, is an MFA graduate of Georgia State University. She received the Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs in 2013, and in the same year was a Walthall Fellow. She is also a Fellow of the Hambidge Center. Her work appears in important private and public collections including the High Museum of Art.




Brian Hitselberger: Counterspell

August 12-31

Reception: Saturday, August 19 at 5pm

Counterspell, by Brian Hitselberger fundamentally addresses new threats to the LGBTQ community that our current political culture encourages. In collaboration with fellow Queer artists, Hitselberger and friends create talismans against hate. Through wall drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Counterspell becomes an important antidote and remediation. Participants include Jonathan Bouknight, Clay McLaurin, Geof Teague, Mica Smith, David Robinson, Robert Lansden, and John Folsom.

Brian Hitselberger (b. 1982) is an artist living and working in Athens, Georgia. He is currently Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking in the Art Department of Piedmont College.


Scott Silvey

Micah Cash, Apalachia, Reservation, 2015

Judy Henson


Visual art, performances, and presentations from Art Vandenberg, Scott Silvey, Shana Robbins, Julie Travis, Karen Tauches, Stephen Fenton, Judy Henson, Micah Cash, and The Bitter Southerner

June 14 to August 5

Correspondences presents a series of short exhibitions, informal talks, and performances that address our desire to restore a natural equilibrium in opposition to the multitude of perils that threaten our environment, the body politic, our spirits, and sense of fairness and justice. Each artist presents works that promote our connection to the natural world, how we react and respond to the material and spiritual worlds in which we live, and our stewardship of the planet.

The title of the series, Correspondences, is inspired in some measure by the Swedish philosopher and mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772). Swedenborg, who influenced such important artists and writers as William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendentalists, proposed a binary construction of the universe and human activity — one in which societal ills could be mitigated through acts of goodness. These actions were intended to restore a natural equilibrium between two opposing forces. As a scientist and spiritual thinker, Swedenborg’s novel approach eschewed strict religious dogma and encouraged important social reform including the abolition of slavery.

Likewise, the Correspondences presented this summer at Poem 88 function as interventions, visual prescriptions and invitations to consider our present challenges, personal and global.



Brendan Carroll, Stained Glass, 2017, oil on canvas

New Works by Brendan Carroll, Ben Steele and Zuzka Vaclavik

May 6 to June 10, 2017

opening reception: May 6, 6 pm
artist talk: May 13, 2 pm

ABSTRACTS presents the work of Poem 88 artists, Brendan Carroll, Ben Steele and Zuzka Vaclavik. Non-objective and Objective Abstraction are at play in these paintings referencing gesture and color field, natural forms, quotidian objects, and signs; thus, in their rigorous study of painting, each artist embraces the hallmarks of modernism through their individual strategies. All three artists have works in important private collections, the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art, and Carroll, also, at MOCA-Ga.

Sponsored by CAMPARI.


Wihro Kim, Point of Departure, 2016, oil on canvas
Jiha Moon, Yolo, 2015, Porcelain, underglaze, glaze, Synthetic hair, hand knots, 7.5in x 8in x 12.5in
In Kyoung Chun, “Two Popsicles and a soccer ball,” 2016, watercolor and pencil on paper, 27” x 34”

Blue Willow: In Kyoung Chun, Namwon Choi, Wihro Kim, Jiha Moon, Jaeyoun Shin

March 18 to April 29 book signing: Saturday, April 22, 2pm
Jiha Moon, Double Welcome Most everyone's mad here

Poem 88 is pleased to present new works by five Korean-American artists: In Kyoung Chun, Namwon Choi, Wihro Kim, Jiha Moon, Jaeyoun Shin  The title of the show, Blue Willow, is also the name of a blue and white porcelain pattern created in Great Britain in the 18th century at the beginning of a renewed interest in Chinoiserie and Asian culture.  Based on blue and white porcelain-ware exported from China, Blue Willow is an entirely Western fabrication. Likewise, the five artists in the exhibition at Poem 88, in varying degrees, allude to their Korean heritage while creating works that are entirely new, incorporating aspects of Contemporary and Modernist principles. Metropolitan Atlanta is home to the majority of Georgia's Korean population of over 50,000 residents. With two Korean language newspapers, and a Korean language TV station, Gwinnett County is often called "the Seoul of the South". Each of the artists in the exhibition are well-acquainted often visiting each other's studios and attending their exhibitions. Their work is essential to understanding the diversity of Atlanta's art community! Both In Kyoung  Chun and Jiha Moon have work in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art. Jiha Moon was a recipient of a Working Artist Project grant from MOCA-Ga in 2012-13 as well as an ARTADIA Award in 2016.




Audrey Hynes, Lindsey Pearson, Victor Perez, Hannah Tarr

February 4 to March 11, 2017

opening reception: Saturday, February 4, 6-8:30 pm

Poem 88 is pleased to announce its next exhibition: Youth Movement. Four newcomers from the Southeast show new currents in painting, mixed media, photography and video. Mash-ups of commercial signage with household materials, portraiture with landscapes, memorialization of the landscape, and questions about artificiality are part of the program. Together the works feel imbued with preternatural confidence and dynamism, sometimes whimsical and sometimes serious. Artists hail from Nashville TN, Gainesville FL, Atlanta and Watkinsville GA.



Cynthia Farnell: Garlands

December 17, 2016 - January 28, 2017

opening reception: Saturday, December 17 4pm-7pm

Garlands is a suite of large-scale prints and a video piece by Atlanta-based artist Cynthia Farnell. Farnell’s baroque elaborations are an attempt to connect with deeper and enduring aspects of human experience through beauty and continuity.

In this series of pigment inkjet prints on Belgian linen, blooming plants are metaphors for cycles of death and regeneration as well as poignant remnants of human presence. Many of the flowers Farnell uses as source material are bulb-forming lilies acquired as pass-along plants. Their cultivation provides her with a sense of place and connection with the past.



Carol John: I Want Candy

November 5 to December 10, 2016

Poem 88 presents a mini-retrospective of works by Georgia artist Carol John, I Want Candy. Titled after the Bow Wow Wow song, John’s work consistently incorporates youthful exuberance, punk rock volume and F-U-N. Novel compositions are infused with a playful, candy-colored, Pop sensibility. Eyes and lips, combs and zippers, polka dots and ice cream cones, John's visual delights never disappoint. Fresh off a solo show in New York, this is John's second solo show at Poem 88.

A graduate of the School of the Visual Arts, John's work appears in many prominent public and private collections including The High Museum of Art.

This exhibition marks the six-year anniversary of Poem 88. We are very grateful for the support of our patrons and very proud of the artists whose work we've presented in over forty exhibitions in addition to film screenings, literary readings, musical performances and community gatherings.



Paul Stephen Benjamin: God Bless America

September 17 to October 29

Paul Stephen Benjamin, in this most recent iteration of God Bless America, very directly speaks to the complex problem of patriotism for many African Americans who, despite years of progress for civil rights, are presently caught in the cross-hairs of a seemingly purposeful war against them.

Comprising four video monitors broadcasting video samples of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, singing the phrase “God Bless America, My Home Sweet Home,” and accompanied by the back-up vocals of Lil Wayne, the installation supports another sixty-five monitors that display strobing or flickering red, white and blue lights arranged into three ziggurats filling the gallery space.



Meredith Kooi: Pitchtree, Peachtree, and Nickel Bottom, too

July 9 to August 6, 2016

Pitchtree, Peachtree, Nickel Bottom, too is a site-specific project that responds to the natural, social, cultural, and political histories of the area surrounding {Poem 88} - the Zonolite district along the South Fork of Peachtree Creek in Atlanta. The evolution of Peachtree Creek has been significant to Atlanta’s development, and this project seeks to dig into these histories through research, performance, audio explorations, and radio broadcast experimentations to illuminate the various communities and infrastructures that have inhabited the area.

Pitchtree, Peachtree, Nickel Bottom, too is going to be structured as an experimental process-based research residency wherein Kooi will use {Poem 88} as a studio, gallery, and event space. There will be performances, workshops, lectures, drinks, cute people, smart ones too, and Meredith making things in the gallery, open to the public!


  • Thursdays at 6 pm and Saturdays at noon: sound mapping and creek walks
  • Peachtree Creek: Silent Dérive + Plant Drawing with Hope Hilton
    Saturday, July 30th at 1pm, FREE!
    Sunday, July 31, 4pm to 6pm
  • Tuesday, Aug 2 at 8 pm: Sarah Louise performs
  • Saturday, Aug 6 at 6pm: closing reception with performances from Jon Ciliberto, Steven Anderson, APHWK&K (Aww phooey with kim & kooi)

Sponsors include The Stuart A Rose Manuscript, Archive and Rare Book Library, Emory University, Zonolite Road Properties.

May 5 to June 30

Opening reception: Thursday, May 5, 6-8:30 pm

Sean Abrahams
Hannah Adair
Susan Cofer
Mike Goodlett
Zuzka Vaclavik
Nancy VanDevender

EST ARS VITÆ presents abstractions inspired by natural forms through drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture.


Hormuz Minina: Hop Skip Jump

Over three consecutive Saturdays in April, Minina guides us on a journey exploring what it means to migrate across cultures.

Saturday, April 2, 4-8 pm
Saturday, April 9 1-4 pm
Saturday, April 16, 4-8 pm


George MIles, Chris Rhodes




February 20 to March 26, 2016

Documentum is a collaborative quarterly edited by Fall Line Press offering a new look at artistic creation and contemporary photography in relation to the cultural ephemera of its time. For its first volume titled The Instagram Series, Documentum calls on, among others, the eye of color photography pioneer and master Stephen Shore. His work is prominently featured in the first issue and he serves as a founding editor.

The first volume explores different aspects of the famous photo-sharing app of 400 million users and in the first issue opens the dialogue presenting the work of 29 photographers or "Instagrammers" selected by guest curators Stephen Shore, Chris Rhodes, David Campany, William Boling, and Dawn Kim.

Poem 88 and Documentum.tv present this exhibition of a selection of work from the first issue.

Céline Bodin, William Boling, Matthew Brown, David Campany, Cesare Fabbri & Silvia Loddo, Emma Georgiou, Maury Gortemiller, Justin Graefer, Peter Halley, Marvin Heiferman, Phillip March Jones, Dawn Kim, Katrin Koenning, David La Spina, Tanya Marcuse, George Miles, Awoiska van der Molen, Eric Oglander, Chris Rhodes, Buku Sarkar, Stephen Shore, Heather Sten, Yu Ukai, Grant Willing, Julian Woodcock.


Judy Henson, Veil for Three Graces, 2014, dye sublimation print on aluminum, dimensions variable.

Faith McClure, the fire becomes the mirror, 2013, mixed media on mylar, 28" x 18"



Nymphs and Shepherds Come Away:
Ten Women Artists Respond to Secular Themes from the Renaissance

January 9 to February 14, 2016

In anticipation of Poem 88's Annual Valentine's Salon, this exhibition is inspired by the Henry Purcell pastoral song, "Nymphs and Shepherd Come Away," crica 1692.

Poem 88 artists In Kyoung Chun, Judy Henson, Carol John, Julia Kjelgaard, Sharon Shapiro, Hannah Tarr, Zuzka Vaclavik, Nancy VanDevender, and guests Faith McClure and Cynthia Farnell explore images and themes from the Renaissance including Classical mytho-logy, love songs, paintings and architecture. Images of gods and humans, metamorphoses and seductions, and renewed considerations of the natural world showcase the formidable talent of each artist.





The Left Coast: Nancy VanDevender

November 14 to December 19, 2015

Atlanta artist Nancy VanDevender presents two views of California culture: the dry, desolate, but hauntingly beautiful desert and the luxuriant and curative spa. Each promises its own allure and revitalizing nature, mirroring the attraction and pull of the counter coast. An installation of two single-channel videos with accompanying photographs and works on paper, The Left Coast invites the viewer to consider pleasure and its absence, the oasis and the parched landscape, another state and another state of mind.

An MFA graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, VanDevender’s work has been featured in several prominent exhibitions including a solo show at Emory University, Pink... Beyond Black and White, and Sex Drive at Haverford College and Atlanta Contemporary. She was born in Meridian, Mississippi and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.






Brendan Carroll, Decal 11, 2014, acrylic and rubber cement on canvas, 60” x 48”
Brendan Carroll, Decal 3, 2015, acrylic and rubber cement on canvas, 60” x 46”

Decals: Brendan Carroll

September 11 - Nov 10, 2015

On Friday, September 11, Poem 88 will host the second solo exhibition, Decals, by Atlanta artist Brendan Carroll, An MFA graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Carroll has become a mainstay in Atlanta’s burgeoning community of young painters. He is a co-organizer of SeekATL, an artist-led critique program.

His new body of work titled Decals references a sticker once placed on home windows to help firefighters identify children’s bedrooms in an emergency. Ultimately, the decals were dispensed with for their apparent redundancy: firefighters would check every room in a burning house regardless of the decal.

Carroll’s paintings, made by layering acrylic paint and rubber cement, have hyper-energized, richly-colored surfaces. The figure (from the decal) of the firefighter is sometimes readily visible and at other times it dissolves away through his aggressive process. Likewise, the words “Tot Finder” come in and out of view. In this way, the paintings address tradition and modernity and the collision of these two ideas either through obscuration or the surprising pentimenti as well as through the clash of our romantic hero-worship with our experience of reality. Finally, this body of work marks Carroll’s first experiments with text as a formal element.



Brambles, Roads and Fields: Micah Cash, Mark Leibert and Hannah Tarr

July 11 to August 28

Brambles, Roads and Fields features the work of Micah Cash, Mark Leibert (courtesy of Sandler Hudson Gallery) and Hannah Tarr, presents contemporary explorations of landscape and the natural world. Even where there is a flattening out of space, a lyrical sensibility and dreamlike quality pervade all three artists' works.

In conjunction with the exhibition, we will have a screening and discussion of the film "Over Your Cities, Grass will Grow" (2010) by director Sophie Fiennes-- a documentary about the artist Anselm Kiefer and his massive Gesamtkunstwerk "La Ribaute" on 35 acres of land in Barjac, France.

Hannah Tarr, small profile, 2014, oil on canvas

Micah Cash, Telico, 2014, oil on canvas, 28" x 36"

Mark Leibert, untitled, 2014, oil on canvas, 12" x 15"; Hannah Tarr, Green Puddle, 2014, oil on canvas.



In Kyoung Chun, You Are Here

May 16 to July 3, 2015

In Kyoung Chun's second solo exhibition at Poem 88, You are Here, offers delights at every turn. Her paintings further her continued interest in the depiction of ki energy through the use of bubble forms interacting with, and sometimes obscuring, landscapes and domestic scenes. The bubbles become proxies for "you" and "I" -- inextricably bound together and offering parallel narratives of yin and yang, male and female, parent and child. In watercolors and oils on canvas, Chun revisits earlier works and imagines them afresh, distilled into greater and greater abstraction. Dollhouses and urban landscapes of rooftops melt into pastel, amorphous puzzles.

Newly realized translucent houses push this inquiry into the third dimension. Made of plexiglass with light components, these new sculptures announce a new, more crystalline manifestation.



Zuzka Vaclavik, Thirst

January 10 to February 14, 2015

Zuzka Vaclavik’s mesmerizing mixed media paintings have an affinity to early American Modernist works and Asian and Jungian mandala designs. Vaclavik’s mandalas maintain an important central element with patterns, colors and objects radiating from the central “self.” They each possess an intense dreamlike quality and seem to reference an internal, subconscious process. The title of the exhibition, Thirst, refers to the desire to unravel these subconscious mysteries.

Vaclavik combines elements of graffiti, textile patterns, botanical illustrations, tattoos, and Eastern religion converging in a symmetrical matrix. These are the objects that she has placed within her kaleidoscopic chamber. She states:

"Each painting, a captured moment within the rotation, functions as a focused meditation on these seemingly disparate fragments of our shared experience. Ultimately, I believe that oneness is the [heart of the paintings]."




November 15 to December 20, 2014

B&W showcases the work of all eighteen Poem 88 artists in a show of painting, mixed media, photography and drawing to celebrate the four-year anniversary of the gallery. Adhering to a mainly black and white palette, B&W will explore the breadth and depth of Poem 88's notable artists including EK Huckaby, Brendan Carroll, Sharon Shapiro, Nikita Gale, In Kyoung Chun and Phillip March Jones. Works no larger than 30" in any dimension and hung salon-style around the spacious gallery will be for sale immediately off the wall to encourage holiday gift buying.  

Robin Bernat, owner and curator, had this to say:

"I am extremely proud of the great work being produced by artists affiliated with Poem 88. This year alone, we've had several artists participating in important museum exhibitions and prestigious artist fellowships and residencies. I hope B&W will afford Atlantans an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the outstanding work being produced here and celebrate with all of us the accomplishments of the past four years."



works by Steven L. Anderson and Susan Hable Smith

September 20 to November 8, 2014

Steven L. Anderson and Susan Hable Smith both explore their relationship to the natural world in their first two-person exhibit at Poem 88. Anderson's work is multifaceted. He creates drawings and photographs that are artifacts of profound engagement with place. Through an artist residency at the Joshua Tree National Park and through commissioned work for the Hammer Museum, Anderson explores the power of the natural world to alter our perspective and remind us that we are also part of nature. While this may seem elementary, Anderson's sensitive drawings and installations can be seen as a transmission of energy and the language of the natural world. 

Hable Smith's work chronicles the landscape of her backyard garden. Along with her travels to Italy, Asia, and South America, her mother's pressed flowers, family, community and light all play a huge role in her work. Natural elements and textures cultivated from her everyday experience make their way into large watercolor, ink wash, and dye paintings on paper. Susan is internationally recognized for her sensibility with color and form. She is the artist and designer behind the boldly colored and hand drawn patterns of Hable Construction, a 15 year old design firm that she created with her sister to produce colorful, contemporary textiles.




Water Ways, an installation

August 21 to Sept 6, 2014

Water Ways is a multimedia installation by the artist collective By Ways, which includes Atlanta family members who now live in three separate North American watersheds, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers, the Hudson River, and the French Broad River. The work investigates the sensory, geographical and storied nature of water. Video, sculpture, found object, assemblage, and earthwork explore water’s elemental qualities, which make both dwelling and movement possible. Condensation, pool, river, waterfall, stream, bay, ice, vapor and liquid inspire method and metaphor.

By Ways members include project leader and artist/designer Judy Henson, artist/projection designer, Anna Henson, and musician/artist, Sarah Henson.  


Sharon Shapiro: Strawberry Letter 23

July 12 - August 9, 2014

Sharon Shapiro returns to Poem 88 for her second solo exhibition of luscious, sexy and provocative watercolors and works on panel. Frequently working from found imagery, film stills and fashion photography, Shapiro continues a long tradition of the study of the female form rigorously exploring ideas about beauty, objectification and sexual power beginning with Botticelli and extending to the Playboy pin-up. New to the work is an intentional doubling and/or blurring of the figure intended to illustrate the ongoing tension between the conflicted roles of women as both powerful sexual beings and sexual objects. This ambiguity also speaks to the illusory nature of the image derived from time-based media like film and television. The title of the exhibition, Strawberry Letter 23, comes from a Brothers Johnson recording from 1977 that, for curator Robin Bernat, captures the gorgeous complexity, soulfulness and glamor that Shapiro's work so deftly encapsulates.


Carol John: oh

May 30 to July 5, 2014

On Saturday, May 31 Carol John will have her first solo exhibition, titled "oh" at Poem 88 in Atlanta, Georgia. John, a resident of Athens, Georgia is a superb colorist whose works on paper and on canvas combine layers of brightly-hued patterns with elements of graffiti and personal iconography. Bursts of chrysanthemums, ice cream cones, eyeballs, combs, lozenge shapes and dots explode off the surfaces of her work and buzz with energy and playfulness. Her inclusion of text like "oh" or "huh" bring her work into the vernacular of the everyday while also alluding to Pop Art motifs.

Born in the USA and educated in Europe, Carol John spent her childhood in museums and art classes. Ms. John attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and now resides in Athens, Georgia. For the last 20 years she has gone into her studio every morning at 8:30.

Carol John’s work has been widely exhibited in the region and New York City. Such venues have included The Contemporary, Swan Coach House Gallery, Quinlan Art Center, the Hudgens Center for the Arts, Gainesville State College, and the University of Georgia. She is co-owner of D.O.C. Unlimited, a design build company in Athens as well as a member of Athens Design Development, an artist consortium whose mission is to infuse our environment with good design.


Ben Steele: from this, a mountain

April 26 to May 24 2014

Ben Steele's newest body of work involves a complex process that includes installation, digital photography and painting. Beginning with the construction of a small scale, table-top installation that includes digital image projections captured in digital photography, Steele explores various aspects of image-making but more specifically he experiments with special effects techniques of filmmaking. From still images of these light projections and "set" constructions, he creates a painted images, many watery and mysterious in feeling -- depictions of a constructed and ephemeral reality.

Steele says about this work:

"My most recent body of work is a series of oil paintings constructed to faithfully represent installations in my studio. The installations are composed of mundane objects, patterned papers, mirrors, other optical instruments, and projected landscape imagery. I am interested in the feeling of infinity, which comes from the images of idealized landscapes, contrasted with the shallow depth of the actual space represented, further complicated by graphic patterns and forms which call attention to the picture plane.

"I have become fascinated with visual effects cinematography, or rather techniques employed to create a sense of the impossible before digital technology existed. I have used many of these techniques in my installations, such as rear projection, matt cut out mirrors, as well as scale models and backdrops to create images which feel digitally manipulated and evoke otherworldly associations, while all taking root from the physical world. I see this process as referring to the act of painting. A viewer is made to believe in a scene that does not actually exist."


Brendan Carroll: Paintings

January 11 to February 22 2014

Brendan Carroll's work invites the viewer to consider a multitude of concerns regarding painting: abstraction and figuration, aggressive gesture, intense, vibrating color arrangements, and the ever-present tension between foreground and background. Having received his MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2011), Carroll embraces the challenges of painting with great gusto. His visual vocabulary of color brick-like backgrounds overlaid with vigorous, interrupting strokes of color say something about his commitment to experimentation: this formula is frequently upended by near total obscuration of the bottom surface, removing the distinction between foreground and background. This repudiation moves the work from its initial Guston-like abstraction into something more akin to color field painting.


P. Seth Thompson: The Last One

October 26 to December 30 2013

Atlanta-based artist P. Seth Thompson continues his exploration into the world of cinema and television with The Last One, his solo exhibition at Poem 88 from October 26 to December 30. The title is borrowed from the infamous series finale of the television show St. Elsewhere and its subsequent theory about the mind of Tommy Westphall, a fictional character in the series. By emphasizing Westphall's multiverse in the world of television, Thompson shows how the moving image has constructed, altered, and influenced his personal reality.

The Last One will bring to light the vanishing boundary between our world and the cinematic and televised world. Thompson suggests, in the end, we are all Tommy Westphall, constantly searching for truth but never quite getting there. Thompson asserts, “all we have is the world we create in our head, and if that's not reality, then nothing is reality. We are left in a world of our own making and that is perfectly fine with me.”

Lina Tharsing: Making a New Forest

June 1 to July 27, 2013

The American Museum of Natural History proclaims, “The viewer of a habitat group diorama is able to travel not only across continents, but also, in some cases, through time.” We can view habitats that are thousands of miles away and environments that were destroyed long ago through complex constructions that employ false perspective and curved painted backdrops, tricking the viewer into believing he is looking through a window to the natural world. The original diorama paintings created by James Perry Wilson were a sort of virtual reality engineering. According to Steven Quinn, senior project manager of the most recent restoration of the museum’s diorama, “They were windows onto other worlds and landscapes, and the engineering that went into making them completely convincing is still astounding now,” Quinn said, adding that when the hall opened, in 1942, just after America’s entry into the Second World War, “the dioramas became a kind of patriotic pageant, a picture of our land and our values. They stood for America.”


Press Release

Et in Arcadia ego

June 1 to July 27, 2013

Et in Arcadia ego features the work of three artists, Sean Abrahams, Ted Fair and Allyson Ross, who use different media to depict an idyllic wilderness. The title of the exhibition, translated as “Even in Arcadia, I am [there],” is taken from paintings by Poussin and Barbieri (Guercino), and refers to the presence of death even in paradise. In drawings, paper sculptures and color photography, each of the artists shows not only edenic and sometimes fantastical views of nature but also the inevitable decay and man-made incursions into the natural world.



Press Release

Blow-Up: five artists at {Poem88}

April 6 to May 25, 2013

opening reception: Saturday, April 6, 7 pm
artist talk: Sat 27 April, 2pm

Taking its name from the classic 1966 Antonioni film, Blow-Up features the work of five artists: Nikita Gale, In Kyoung Chun, Sharon Shapiro, Ben Steele, and Nancy VanDevender. Each artist explores aspects of cinematic language or storytelling, but more specific to the film, is an exploration of non-resolution. Both physically and psychologically, meaning is subverted and questioned: the blow-up does not yield clarity and the protagonist remains aimless. In paintings, drawings, installation and text-based works, this existential question is addressed.


Press Release

bowl, home, energy, culture, corner, table, earth, space, embrace, everything: In Kyoung Chun at {Poem88}

February 16 - March 30, 2013

In her first solo exhibition, Chun considers materiality and its dissolution and their connection within the never-ending continuum of energy. Beginning with an installation of disparate objects and surfaces, Chun creates large and small paintings in watercolor and oil that move between representation and abstraction. Bubbles and open spaces occur and reoccur as a device for portraying that push and pull, embracing the visible and the invisible, the mundane and the sublime. Dollhouses and clocks intermingle with rooftops and rice cakes to indicate the exchange between American and Korean cultural signs. Chun’s adept use of color is especially pleasing.


Recollections: Five Artists respond to the L.P. Grant Mansion

January 11 2013 to February 16

Recollections is a collaborative project between {Poem88} and the Atlanta Preservation Center.  Archival materials including photographs and written accounts available through the Atlanta Preservation Center serve as source materials for five {Poem88} artists, Jon Ciliberto, EK Huckaby, Al Matthews, Sharon Shapiro and Nancy VanDevender, who each have created bodies of work in response. For instance, the mansion’s use as a Confederate hospital and Margaret Mitchell’s later involvement with the Grant home have provided inspiration for some of these new works.  Infused with the hallmarks of their own oeuvre, artists created anew architectural renderings, portraits, period wallpapers, sound pieces and paintings. A portion of all sales will benefit the Atlanta Preservation Center.


EK Huckaby: The Ocean Casts the Greatest Shadow

December 15 2012 to February 2 2013

"We fondly set about kneading distinctions out of the dim nought. Insects evade our amber traps but moments are fain to linger. We insist on seeing things as they briefly are." ~ EKH

EK Huckaby brings his inimitable paintings and assemblages back to {Poem88} for his second solo exhibition. Working from found images from out-of-print tomes of Near Eastern travel, the behavior of honey-bees, and 19th century inventions, Huckaby gives a glimpse into the mysteries and travails of early modernity. In his carefully translucent images, Huckaby congeals extinct animals, light bulbs, and fruit markets, alike, in his home-made concoctions of Old World glazes. Huckaby, whose career enters its third decade, persists in exploring the possibilities of painting to evoke hidden worlds and poetic interpretation.


Guy Mendes, 40/40

Oct 21 - Dec 1 2012

Guy Mendes began his photographic career almost by accident. A young transplant from New Orleans, Mendes arrived at the University of Kentucky in 1966, hoping to become a journalist. The following year, he attended a rally to hear Wendell Berry speaking out against the Vietnam War. The two struck up a friendship that would eventually lead him to Eyeglasses of Kentucky, Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s optical shop and gallery. There, Mendes saw photographs by the likes of Emmet Gowin and Bill Burke and was afforded the privilege of snooping through stacks of prints, dolls and masks that Meatyard kept in the back.


Nikita Gale

Sept 7 - Oct 13, 2012

1961 is a photo-based body work that re-imagines a period of time in the American South. I created this work while in residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, NY.

This is an archaeological and artistic endeavor about excavating the intangible.

This work is about piecing together a narrative to bring to life a part of history that was seldom seen or shared – the private and internal operations of human emotion and thought. Much like an archaeologist pieces together narratives based on available artifacts, I have done the same with the available visual and written artifacts from 1961, but instead of piecing together explanations of utilitarian processes, I am seeking to piece together emotional, intangible phenomena. Much like broken and reassembled physical remnants of the past, I have researched and reassembled texts and imagery that attempt to address these internal human processes of thought and emotion. The resulting texts are, much like archaeological documentation and findings reports, imperfect, vague, provocative and hint at something – they represent the voice behind human emotions and desires. It’s the voice that is rarely ever documented; it’s the thoughts that we have about each other – the thoughts that we can’t share but we feel.


Stewart Ziff and Alexis Hudgins: Reality Show

August 4 to August 18, 2012

Pairing two media makers, Los Angeles-based Alexis Hudgins, a graduate of the UCLA MFA program, and GSU media professor Stewart Ziff, {Poem88} provides the space and resources to pursue a ten-day, site-specific installation and performance that engages the Atlanta community and encourages their participation in a reality show. The project will begin in earnest on Saturday, August 4 with the building of the production office and creation of the interview set in preparation for Ziff's first day as the artist-occupant on Thursday, August 9.

For the duration of this project, Ziff uses the gallery as a working studio to create art while Hudgins employs strategies used in producing reality television to document his actions - continual surveillance, sound recordings, and detailed note-taking of the daily goings-on of art-making and community engagement, conversation and provocation. Using the basic structures of a reality television confessional, Ziff is interviewed every two to three days by a local psychiatrist about his daily work, both on camera and in front of the gallery audience.

“Reality Show” weds art-making and performance, reality and fiction MTV-Real-World style. A closing reception and wrap party on Saturday, August 18 will allow viewers to observe the final interview between Ziff and psychiatrist for a dramatic review of the successes and failures of the show.


Crossing Lines
William Downs + Brooke Pickett
April 21 to May 26, 2012

{Poem88} is very pleased to present Crossing Lines, a collaborative endeavor by William Downs (b. 1974, Greenville, SC) and Brooke Pickett (b. 1980, Shreveport, LA) merging line, landscape, and vision into one cohesive body of work. The artists, who met in New Orleans during the summer of 2011, embarked on this journey hoping to synthesize their distinct approaches to drawing and fueled by their admiration for each other’s practices. Downs deftly captures movement and gesture, while Pickett’s thoughtful drawings depict quirky shapes and indiscernible objects. Together their drawings encompass a multitude of imaginary spaces, ideas, and musings.

Press Release [PDF]


Julia Kjelgaard and Mehmet Dogu: Living Color

{Poem88} is pleased to present the work of artists Julia Kjelgaard and Mehmet Dogu. Trained as a printmaker and an architect respectively, both Kjelgaard and Dogu use color to communicate our relationships to space and place. Beyond the formal beauty of the work, both artists urge the viewer toward a more nuanced condition of connectedness: Kjelgaard through the layering of imagery and Dogu, perhaps, more directly, through the democratic glow of colored light encompassing the gallery and the viewer equally.

Press Release [PDF]


Philip Buntin:Phenomena

January 28 - February 28 2012

In this new body of work for {Poem 88}, Buntin explores the experiential aspects of incompletion. In two dozen enamel paintings on plexiglass, Buntin puts forward a kind of riddle: how or whether absence can be expressed through presence and how they might be intertwined.

His curiosity about seemingly oppositional states has persisted over many years involving explorations of complex and chaotic visual manifestations. Repetitive patterns are especially appealing: from rain drops on a window to the carpet pages of Hiberno-Saxon illuminated manuscripts.

Press Release [PDF]


Holly White: Cinematic Language

October 15 to
November 19, 2011

In conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Poem88 presents Holly White: Cinematic Language. Atlanta photographer Holly White creates images that, despite the minimal presence of human beings, nonetheless suggest they are markedly there: in lawn chairs, or footprints on dewy grass, or the lone automobile on an otherwise empty street. Despite their simplicity, her images appear freighted with hidden meaning. For the viewer, there is, also, a natural inclination to construct a narrative even if it is only loosely bound by the remnants of people. Holly White seems to be
warming up as a mis-en-scene directing the story of mystery, or of longing, or of melancholy, or of something else entirely fleeting.

Ryan Nabulsi: Photo Secession

September 10 to
October 8 2011

In many ways, Ryan Nabulsi’s camera-less photographs represent a natural conclusion to the goals of Steiglitz and Steichen in promoting pictorial photography. Relying on the
manipulation of the photographic chemical process for instant photography, Nabulsi generates abstractions of lush color perhaps more akin to color field painting. He is a great cultivator of the happy accident thus chance figures prominently in his process.

Phillip Buntin: thinking out loud 

{Poem88} offered a series of public events during the course of Phillip Buntin's artist residency here August 3- 13, 2011. Music and dance performances, a film screening, a lecture on physics and conversations around areas of continued interest for Buntin are on tap. Chiefly, these are mindfulness, hermeneutics, complexity and the relationship that art has to all three.


Works On Paper

Brad Brooks, Jon Ciliberto, EK Huckaby, Kevin Osborne, Sharon Shapiro, Karen Tauches, Nancy VanDevender, Christina Price Washington

2 July 2011 to 2 August 2011

“Works On Paper” at {Poem88} offers a wide-range of conceptual strategies as well as styles of execution in this exhibition encompassing drawing, watercolor, color printing, altered paper objects and paper constructs.


Marwencol: photographs from Mark Hogancamp and David Naugle

May 21 - June 25, 2011

“Hogancamp’s project is undoubtedly a textbook example of outsider art, and enthralls for that genre’s particular reasons — aesthetic innocence, genuine otherness. But even without knowledge of the artist’s life, the photos step beyond neo-kitsch into a realm where child-like transference merges with a dramatic grandeur to create both a feeling of vintage Hollywood artifice and authentic pathos.“ -- Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice, October 6, 2010

Join us on 21 May for the opening at 7 pm, and a special screening of the documentary film Marwencol (2010), directed by Jeff Malmberg.


[Press Release PDF]

David D'Agostino
Axis Mundi : new liminal space landscapes

paintings & photographs
April 9 - May 14, 2011

Rigorous reconsiderations of landscape and of figuration predominate within the three types of images: decorative, white-outs and post-human. According to D’Agostino, he imagines these works existing across a continuum with traditional beauty at one end and a kind of post-apocalyptic vision at the other. That he focuses so intently on landscape as the vehicle for de-constructive activity is, perhaps, symbolic of human programs of degradation and renewal.


[Press Release PDF]

Sharon Shapiro

paintings & photographs
Feb 19 - April 2, 2011

Shapiro’s paintings and watercolors, drawn from a range of photographic sources, address stereotypical depictions of women. In this new body of work, Shapiro lovingly reproduces these found photos into images of intense sensuality and eroticism. Embracing ideas of sex-positive feminism, Shapiro celebrates the power of female sexuality placing it front and center. Shapiro’s skill as a colorist is put to good use in exploring ideas of femininity and naturalism


[Press Release PDF]

Christina Price Washington
Studies from home

photographs, photograms & drawings
Dec 11, 2010 - Feb 12, 2011

{Poem88} at Tanner-Hill Gallery is pleased to present Christina Price Washington, “Studies from Home.” Pristine photographs of hearths and thresholds work side by side with gestural drawings - tracings of the nightly migrations of her and her husband’s pillows around the periphery of their bed. Stillness and activity, fastidious documentation and unsentimental precision imbue the mundane with a curious tension: furnishings, bed clothes, bread crumbs, strands of hair tell a story of domestic life with quiet purpose. Born in California of German parents and educated in both Germany and the U.S., Christina Price Washington’s images straddle two aesthetic worlds.


[Press Release PDF]

EK Huckaby, Excursus
new paintings and objects
Oct 16 - Nov 28, 2010

{Poem88} at Tanner Hill Gallery will present its first exhibition “EK Huckaby: Excursus.” A long-time fixture in the Atlanta arts community, Huckaby’s work typically has explored undercurrents of mystery and the occult within a philosophical framework of his own making. Referencing a train of thought in a new direction, “Excursus” presents Huckaby’s recent explorations of light seen through his now trademark alchemical varnishes. Aspects of Southern Gothic, spiritualism, and a kind of personalized system of scientific classification continue to coalesce in Huckaby’s work and re-emerge as a kind of reverie for something lost.


[Press Release PDF]